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Love, Laughter, and Lullabies: Baby Monitor

Baby MonitorMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Matthew 21:22).

Of the Word

Any morning you wake up laughing is a good day. I had one of those mornings when, through the baby monitor, I heard my daughter say, “All done!” She was done sleeping, ready to get up, and confident I could hear her and would act to free her from the confines of the crib.

Much like the baby monitor that allows me to hear my daughter in her room, we have a direct line to God’s ear: prayer. Speaking to God is a privilege He gives believers. Prayer is powerful.

Joshua prayed and the sun stood still for a whole day. (Joshua 10:12–13) Jonah prayed and the very large fish that swallowed him spit Jonah out onto dry land. (Jonah 2) When Abraham prayed, a few people were saved from destruction in Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18:22–33) Joshua, Jonah, and Abraham prayed with confidence, knowing God would act for them.

In the same way, we can be confident in our prayers. God hears and God acts when we come before Him with our requests. And as Joshua, Jonah, and Abraham proved, nothing is too big or too small to bring before God in prayer.

Walking with my Lord

Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of speaking to You in prayer. Help me be confident as I come before You with my requests. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Love, Laughter, and Lullabies. DCE Amanda Stacy, author. 1/30 ©2013 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations were taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 

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Living in the Spirit: Helps Me Be Fruitful

Living in the Spirit … Helps Me Be FruitfulMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.” John 15:16a

Of the Word

We go to a nursery to carefully choose and buy a fruit tree. We plant, water, fertilize, and prune it. We expect it to blossom one day and bear fruit. To enjoy ripe fruit picked from the tree is a sweet experience.

God has chosen us. Jesus Christ has purchased us through His death on the cross. The Holy Spirit nurtures us and helps us to grow, blossom, and produce lasting fruit. The fruit of a Christian is the love and compassion shown to others. It is allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us to be Christ’s disciples wherever we are. What we do for others in God’s name gives Him glory and honor — fruit that will last.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out it roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7–8).

Walking with my Lord

O God, I want to be fruitful. I want to be Your hands and feet here on earth. I want to share You with others. Help me, through Your Holy Spirit, to be a true disciple in what I do and say. May the fruit produced in my life give You glory. Thank You, God, for choosing me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 30/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Living in the Spirit: Gives Me Self-Control

Living in the Spirit … Gives Me Self-ControlMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.  Proverbs 25:28 MSG

Of the Word

... the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control ... (Galatians 5:22–23a).

A house without windows or doors indicates a dwelling exposed to the elements and vulnerable to intruders. Without self-control we are like this house — wide open for the intrusion of sin.

We chuckle and say, “I just have no self-control when it comes to _____.” We can fill in the blank with our own answers: chocolate, television, shopping, eating, working. Or we may have a lack of self-control over things we don’t so readily admit: rage, swearing, lust, jealousy, alcohol, abusive speech, or gossip. Lack of self-control, no matter how trivial we may perceive it to be, leads us away from God’s direction for us.

… make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; … For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5b–6a, 8).

Walking with my Lord

Merciful Father, send Your Spirit to strengthen me so that I may persevere in my desire for self-control. Lord, lift me up when I am falling. Help me keep my eyes upon Jesus. In His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 29/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture passages with the notation of (MSG) were taken from THE MESSAGE, Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
 

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Living in the Spirit: Produces Gentleness

Living in the Spirit … Produces GentlenessMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philippians 4:5a

Of the Word

… the fruit of the Spirit is … gentleness … (Galatians 5:22–23a).

Our perfect model of gentleness is Jesus. He has shown us how to deal with one another in a caring, considerate, and sympathetic manner. Whether He was feeding the hungry (Mark 6:30–44), treating others with respect as He did the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1–26), or grieving with friends over the death of a loved one (John 11:17–37), Jesus responded with loving concern and in a gentle manner.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care — then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand (Philippians 2:1–4 MSG).

Walking with my Lord

Lord, forgive the times I have been too busy or didn’t care enough to comfort others. Send me a spirit of gentleness so that Christ may be reflected in all that I do. I ask in His name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Living in the Spirit. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 28/30 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture passages with the notation of (MSG) were taken from THE MESSAGE, Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
 

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With This Ring: Aging

Aging: Growing Older TogetherMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12

Of the Word

In his hit song, “Forever and Ever, Amen,” Randy Travis shares how he feels about his wife’s hair turning gray, “Well, honey, I don’t care, I ain’t in love with your hair, and if it all fell out, I’d love you anyway.” In a culture that values youth and fights hard to cover or reverse any signs of aging, this kind of love is exceptional!

No doubt your spouse’s physical characteristics played a role in your initial attraction, but time will eventually change these features. Fortunately as we mature, so does our perspective on life and our perspective on our spouse. In the gray hair and “smile lines” we see not only the personality and character of the person whom we love, but also the joys and sorrows that have been experienced in a life lived by God’s grace. Our understanding of our spouse deepens and the physical changes — instead of being regretted — are welcomed. Growing old together is a gift of God to be cherished in each other.

Walking with my Lord

Unchanging God, if it is Your will that we grow old together on this earth, give us grace and understanding through all the changes aging will bring. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 28/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Forever and Ever, Amen,” words and music by Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet. ©1987 Screen Gems- EMI Music Inc., Scarlet Moon Music, Don Schlitz Music and Universal – MCA Music Publishing, A Division of Universal Studios, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

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With This Ring: In Sickness and in Health

In Sickness and in Health: Working Through Health IssuesMustard Seed Daily Devotion

In the Word

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

Of the Word

Why do we call it a funny bone when there’s nothing funny about hitting it? Nothing is funny about a serious health problem, either. A serious illness puts pressure on both spouses. Time, effort, and attention are needed to cope with the illness. Financial stresses may be heavy. Guilt for “causing” the strain may be an added burden. Other problems may include uncertainty about the future, worries about intimacy, and feelings of resentment and entrapment. Any combination can challenge even the strongest marriage.

Communicating feelings, sharing words of appreciation, and restating one’s commitment are all ways of helping to alleviate the pressure. God walks with us in our illnesses, and spouses who do the same are acting out the very essence of God.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Healer, have mercy on us as You had mercy on those who needed healing. Give us patience in our time of affliction. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: With this Ring. Authors: Rev. Wes and Deaconess Sonja Baumeister. 27/28 ©2008 Lutheran Women's Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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Begin with God: So We Can Love Others

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionBegin with God … So We Can Love Others

In the Word

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else … 1 Thessalonians 3:12a

Of the Word

How can I show God’s love to others?

Unconditional love describes God’s love for all sinners. This love began with Adam and Eve, whose sin spoiled the perfect world God had made for them, and continues through the present day.

In love, God promised us a Savior. He renewed that promise over centuries and fulfilled it by sending His Son. Jesus demonstrated love in word and action, culminating with His death on Calvary and His resurrection three days later.

How can we as mere mortals respond to such love? Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can demonstrate His love to others. … live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1b–2). May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else … (1 Thessalonians 3:12a). And when we fail to love, as human beings always will, God accepts our repentance, forgives us, and enables us to begin again.

Walking with my Lord

Dear Lord, You are the perfect example of love. You have spoken of love and You have demonstrated it through Your Son Jesus. Lord, I do not love You or others as I should, and I beg Your forgiveness. Give me, I pray, a greater measure of Your unconditional love so that I am able to share it with Your people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 28/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105. www.lwml.org
Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

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View a printable PDF of this devotion, Begin with God … So We Can Love Others

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